Margaret Barry, University of Galway, Ireland


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  • The KTA framework is comprised of two components; knowledge creation and subsequent action. These two components and the phases within them interact dynamically throughout the Knowledge Translation process. Research activities in this project equate to the first component in this KTA process.
  • Evidence reviews Interventions for improving health literacy . Health advocacy. Social marketing.Literature reviews Health information-seeking behaviour on the web. Trust and reputation management. Health communication campaign evaluation . Effective risk communication.Systematic literature reviews Evidence for effective national immunisation schedule promotional communications. Evidence for the effectiveness of interventions that use theories and models of behaviour change.
  • The synthesis of evidence highlighted some key strengths and gaps in the European evidence base currently available for health communication and communicable diseases.
  • The primary information gathering activities highlightedopportunities and challenges for health communication practice.
  • Margaret Barry, University of Galway, Ireland

    1. 1. Translating Health Communication Programme:Implications for Capacity DevelopmentEstablishing a programme for dissemination of evidence based healthcommunication activities and innovations on communicable diseasesfor country support in the EU and EEA/EFTA 2009-12Professor Margaret BarryHealth Promotion Research CentreNational University of Ireland GalwayOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh
    2. 2. Project FundingThis research project was commissioned by theEuropean Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of Project: 3 yearsStart Date: December 2009
    3. 3. Project ConsortiumCo-ordinating centre:Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway, IrelandConsortium partners:Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, ScotlandUniversity of Navarra Clinic, Pamplona, Spain.Consortium members:Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway, IrelandProfessor M. Barry, Dr J. Sixsmith, Ms P. Doyle, Ms. M. D’Eath, Dr S. Mahmood, Ms M. O’Sullivan andDr C. Domegan, Discipline of Marketing.Institute for Social Marketing & Centre for Tobacco Control Research,University of Stirling, ScotlandProfessor G. Hastings, Ms G. Cairns, Ms L. McDonald, Ms K. Angus,University of Navarra Clinic, Pamplona, Spain.Dr F. Guillen-Grima, Dr C. Oroviogoichoechea, Dr J. Nunez-Cordoba
    4. 4. Overall Programme Aim (2009-2012)To build capacity and support the optimal use anddevelopment of health communication activities forcommunicable diseases in EU and EEA countries.
    5. 5. Methodology• Knowledge Inquiry:– Primary information gathering - e-survey and telephone interviews with 109 keystakeholders across the 30 EU and EEA countries– Synthesis of evidence - series of nine reviews (literature reviews, rapid evidencereviews, systematic reviews)• Knowledge Consolidation – SWOC analysis to consolidate the project outputs– Strengths and weaknesses of the evidence base for health communication inEurope– Opportunities and challenges for strategic development - an online expertconsultation process• Knowledge Translation - project findings used to inform capacity developmentfor policy and practice (Knowledge to Action Processes Framework)
    6. 6. MethodologyKnowledge to ActionProcesses Framework(KTA)Knowledge is distilled as it isfunnelled through thesephases:1. Knowledge Inquiry -through primaryinformation gatheringactivities2. Knowledge Synthesis - aseries of reviewssynthesisingcurrent knowledge3. Knowledge Consolidation- SWOC analysis4. Knowledge Translation -capacity developmentfor policy and practiceSWOC AnalysisOnlineConsultationPublic HealthCapacityDevelopmentPrimaryInformationGatheringSynthesis ofEvidence
    7. 7. Results – Current EvidenceThe synthesis of evidence highlighted some key strengthsand gaps in the European evidence base currently availablefor health communication and communicable diseasesStrengths• An emerging body of knowledge concerning core concepts and• theoretical models - health literacy, health advocacy, promotion of• immunisation uptake and behaviour change• Resources exist in the form of toolkits andguides for developing, implementing and evaluating healthcommunication activities
    8. 8. Results – Current EvidenceWeaknesses• Limited evidence base on intervention research for communicable• diseases in a European context• Methodological variability – lack of rigorous evaluation,standardised measures, and inconsistent reporting• Limited consensus about the concepts relating to: socialmarketing, health information-seeking, risk communication,campaign evaluation, trust and reputation management• Limited inclusion of disadvantaged and hard-to-reachpopulations in current research
    9. 9. Results – Current PracticeOpportunities• Greater coordination, collaboration and the development of strongpartnerships• Explore the transferability of knowledge from noncommunicable tocommunicable diseases• Establish a common, consistent and shared glossary• Develop the use and application of new media• Enhance education and training in health communication• Conduct research on the systematic use of evidence and evaluation• Invest in formative research and audience segmentation
    10. 10. Results – Current PracticeChallenges• The political, administrative, linguistic and cultural diversity of countries• Great variability between countries in terms of range and level ofactivities undertaken• Lack of dedicated national budgets and plans• Lack of clarity regarding responsibility for health communicationactivities at country level• Communicating effectively with stakeholders• Lack of knowledge regarding the use of new technologies• Limited knowledge and application of evaluation methods• Lack of education and training opportunities
    11. 11. Example of Health LiteracyBarry, D’Eath & Sixsmith (2013) Interventions for Improving Population Health Literacy: Insightsfrom a rapid review of the evidence. Journal of Health Communication• Paucity of intervention studies relating to population health literacy withregard to the prevention and control of communicable diseases– 5 reviews covering 83 studies –only 3 studies related to communicable disease (medicationadherence)• Majority of published research is produced in the US and concernsfunctional health literacy• Greater clarity around the concept of health literacy and its measurement –wider dimensions (e.g. HLS-EU-Q - Sørenson et al., 2012)• Strategies for enhancing population health literacy – promotion, preventionand healthcare; access, appraise and apply information• Small number of studies on the use of online technologies• Little evidence of inclusion of disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups inreviews• Strategic action at the European level on the effective development,implementation and evaluation of health literacy interventions
    12. 12. Future DevelopmentsOrganisational Structures• Health communication should be incorporated into planning andimplementation of all public health policies• Capacity would be improved by enhanced collaborative working andgreater coordinationPartnerships• Could potentially limit costs, facilitate transnational approaches andensure a commonality of health messages• Utilise a citizen-centred approach – social dialogue, build public trustFinancial resources• Dedicated budgets - greater use of evaluation, including cost-effectiveness, will equip policymakers with the relevant evidence
    13. 13. Future DevelopmentsLeadership and Governance• Development of formal structures within Public Health Authorities orMinistries of Health – clear lines of responsibility• Future communication needs to be inclusive and focus on reducingdisparities and inequalitiesKnowledge Development• Development of systematic evaluation - identifying indicators of success• Explore the transferability of knowledge and resources fromnoncommunicable diseases to communicable diseasesWorkforce• More structured education and training for health communication
    14. 14. Acknowledgements• We acknowledge the support of ECDC Competent Bodies, public healthpractitioners and experts that participated in this project• We would also like to acknowledge the support of ECDC and the ResearchConsortium PartnersReferences:• Sixsmith, Doyle, D’Eath and Barry (2013) Translating Health Communication forthe Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases in Europe: CurrentEvidence, Practice and Future Developments. Stockholm: ECDC• Special Issue of the Journal of Health Communication, 2013 (in press)• Further project details and outputs are available at: